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  • [GAME] Kikai




    Kikai - a 3D dark-themed mystery game with focus on story and AI

    Prologue



    During his gradual recovery from a chronic disease, a musician and luthier had traveled to a beautiful foreign land. Just to get away, relax in scenic beauty, and maybe find some musical inspiration. He left the crowded, distracting cities to travel all the way to a border town so he could enjoy the best sceneries there were.

    Then the war broke out.

    Everyone lost their minds and chaos ruled. In the midst of all this, he found a boy with a broken leg, crawling against the stream of people running away from the fighting.
    He couldn’t just leave the poor boy. He tried to pull him away from danger, but the kid showed him a picture of a girl and pointed deeper into town. With haste, he helped the boy get to where he wanted to go: a large laboratory. There was screaming coming from the inside.

    They followed the sounds deeper into the building until they encountered a small girl stabbing a female scientist to death.

    The girl passed out and the boy crawled to her immediately. There were three corpses at the scene, two in white lab coats. A picture on the wall showed the dead people and the two kids, all happy and smiling.

    The musician was still shell-shocked, but with the war outside, dangers were already on the doorstep again. He took it upon himself to protect the kids from the war. The boy’s name was Kai and the girl’s was Kira. They showed him the few underground lab rooms that they had access to, and the three of them made it their home while the war raged on outside.
    Introduction



    The game will have action and stealth mechanics as well as puzzle and visual novel elements. We want to focus on the story, the AI and the immersive atmosphere of the game. Playing as the foreign musician, you will explore the mysterious labs, the war-ravaged town and the scenic landscape surrounding it, looking for supplies and answers, while trying to take care of the children and teaching them right from wrong. With our robust AI learning system, the children will respond to your actions and gradually change. Our goal is to deliver the truest, deepest and most emotional experiences.

    The kids’ AI will be developed with Machine Learning, which means they can learn through experiences. For example, if you always kill enemies upon met without mercy, the kids will grow to be violent. If you help other people frequently, they will learn to do the same, etc.


    Art & Screenshots
















    The Light Novel



    We’re going to demonstrate the game world and tell some stories through a light novel written specifically for the game. A chapter will be published every month or two. We’re not going to spoil much and might even insert some lies and misleading clues. The point is to make sure everyone can feel the game better and imagine what kind of mysteries there are. You will have to play the game to truly understand the characters and mysteries.
    I (Hai) am the writer, Jaco is our editor and Trieu is the illustrator.
    You can read all chapters here!

    The Team

    - Hai (writer, programmer, designer)
    - Trieu (concept artist, designer)
    - Jaco (English proofreader, editor)
    - Lucas (3D artist)
    - Josh (composer)

    We're recruiting!






    - We're looking for a 3D character artist and animator so if you're interested, contact us at kikaiteam@gmail.com!
    Last edited by skyarmor; 09-29-2017, 03:25 AM.

  • #2
    You can read all chapters in better format here, first time loading the site might be a bit slow though!

    Prologue

    During his gradual recovery from a chronic disease, a musician and luthier had traveled to a beautiful foreign land. Just to get away, relax in scenic beauty, and maybe find some musical inspiration. He left the crowded, distracting cities to travel all the way to a border town so he could enjoy the best sceneries there were.

    Then the war broke out.

    Everyone lost their minds and chaos ruled. In the midst of all this, he found a boy with a broken leg, crawling against the stream of people running away from the fighting.
    He couldn’t just leave the poor boy. He tried to pull him away from danger, but the kid showed him a picture of a girl and pointed deeper into town. With haste, he helped the boy get to where he wanted to go: a large laboratory. There was screaming coming from the inside.

    They followed the sounds deeper into the building until they encountered a small girl stabbing a female scientist to death.

    The girl passed out and the boy crawled to her immediately. There were three corpses at the scene, two in white lab coats. A picture on the wall showed the dead people and the two kids, all happy and smiling.

    The musician was still shell-shocked, but with the war outside, dangers were already on the doorstep again. He took it upon himself to protect the kids from the war. The boy’s name was Kai and the girl’s was Kira. They showed him the few underground lab rooms that they had access to, and the three of them made it their home while the war raged on outside.

    #1: Ink

    Yet another day on this horrible battlefield.

    With those same eyes, with that same face, Kira has killed again. We were just out on a quick supply run when some young men jumped us. I couldn't stop her in time.
    Kai didn’t react much; he must be used to it by now.
    I know that I’ve got to do something to fix this, but the whole situation is just too overwhelming for me to handle. The stabs of pain still haunt me every day, even though the disease has stopped getting worse.

    Before I got sick, I once had to babysit my brother’s kid, so he and his wife could enjoy a holiday somewhere on the coast. The boy was well behaved. He always listened to adults and was perfectly polite.
    Yet just taking care of him for one day was more exhausting than a 16 hour shift at the factory.
    Now I’ve got two strange kids to take care of. They don’t even speak my language. And the days just seem to go on forever.

    Kai and Kira have already entered the basement, but I’m still here playing my violin in the light of this melancholy sunset. There was a big battle in the east earlier this morning, so it’s been quiet for a while now. I just don’t want to miss the chance to play some music out here, in nature. I don’t think I’ll ever get another opportunity. I choose a peaceful Baroque song I’ve just learned to play.

    I chastise myself for the horrible tempo. Even though I know that the soul and character of a song comes from imperfection, I still want my performances to be perfect. I can always move along with the music if I want more emotion. But this sloppy tempo is just too painful to listen to. What a horrible day this is.
    I sigh, carefully putting the violin back inside its case. I plod up the handful of steps to get inside the house.

    Ink?


    On the way in, I find a multitude of dark splotches that look like blood, but smell strongly of ink. They’re scattered all over the floor, but they seem to lead somewhere. I carefully follow the marks. They lead to the bodies of the two scientists who had been living with the children.

    I try to hold back my lunch as I look at the gaping holes where the chests of the two scientists have been torn open. Empty cavities stare back where their lungs and hearts should have been.

    Around the wounds are sharp and decisive bite marks, as if a huge beast had ripped the scientists open and eaten their innards.
    There are no blood stains around the corpses. Only ink marks. Hundreds of them, scattered violently all around the room, like some kind of macabre modern art painting.
    None of the dark purple-black marks are spatters of blood. Did the beast lick up every last drop?

    Suddenly the danger of the situation sinks in, and I immediately run to Kai and Kira.

    Thankfully, they’re still safe, but there’s no time to waste. I quickly lock all the doors, then recheck every corner of the rooms.
    After having checked and rechecked everything to make sure the rooms are safe, I catch my breath and finally feel a sliver of relief.

    We have dinner in silence. I make sure the kids have brushed their teeth and then go lie flat on my back.
    I soon fall asleep.

    I wake up after a dreamless night, feeling tired and empty.
    Kai is still fast asleep. Kira, on the other hand, confirms that I’ve awakened, staring at me with her blank eyes, and then stares into space impassively, holding her favorite doll in her arms, as always.

    I brush my teeth, wash my face, then go to the kitchen to prepare breakfast. I think of my old house, back in the homeland. It was just a small box of a house but it had a nice warm bath.
    I really wish I could take a bath.
    Once breakfast is ready, I go to wake Kai up. As always, he opens his eyes lightly and then closes them again. He’s awake, he just needs a little more time and effort to get out of bed.
    Funny how a single blanket could turn a leopard into such a harmless sloth.
    After leaving a hot water bowl and Kai’s face towel next to his mattress, I head back to the kitchen.

    To my surprise, the old wooden dining table has already been set. Kira sits in her place, still holding her doll impassively. Her eyes are as blank as always, but I know she’s gradually changing.
    With such a simple action, she has blown away all of my worries and exhaustion.
    Even though my body is tired, my smile has finally come back. I pick up my violin, gently rub Kira’s head, and then start playing a few of my favourite pieces. Kai, having finally left his bed, ambles closer to listen to my music. His face is unwashed, as expected, and Kira is still not reacting much.

    But I don’t mind. I continue to play with a smile on my face.


    During the entire meal, Kai talks to Kira in excited tones. I guess he had some really good dreams last night. Kira doesn’t reply often, and when she does, her voice is so quiet that I doubt even Kai could hear it.
    But I could see her subtle smile every now and then. The whole atmosphere is really warm. It reminds me of Sunday dinners when I was a kid.
    We don’t have to go out today. After cleaning up, I just stand in the corner of the room, watching the kids play.
    I haven’t been in such a good mood for a long time, so I decide to seriously clean up and reorder the rooms. I haven’t really cleaned at all since we started living here a few days ago, and I want the kids to live in a clean environment anyway.

    I start with the books that Kira piled up in the corner after finishing them. I wish I could understand the language, just to know what she’s been reading. There are some books with silly covers, but most of them are too generic to guess.

    With all the books in my arms, I head to the library room.

    This one… goes here.
    Title starts with L… there, that last row.
    This last ro..

    Ink!?

    =============
    You can read all chapters in better format here.
    Last edited by skyarmor; 05-05-2017, 06:00 AM.

    Comment


    • #3

      Kai's bravery


      Summary
      Kai learns how to react to enemies from the way the player reacts. He could either be brave, always confronts the enemies without fear or could simply be a coward, just runs away all the time. This bravery of his depends on how the player plays the game.

      Prototype
      At the beginning, Kai is coward in general. His coward level is randomly generated though. For some players, he just runs away all the time. For others, he might actually choose to confront the enemies when in real danger.
      (a rather brave newborn Kai)
      (a not so brave newborn Kai)

      The bravery level B varies from 0 to 1. Kai is bolder when B is closer to 1 and tends to run away when B is closer to 0.
      The cool thing is that this bravery level B differs with situations. Kai won’t just either run away or confront the enemies all the time, he might run in one situation (the enemy is still very far) and confront in another (the enemy has already come close).

      Now let’s see how Kai grows!
      - With an aggressive player, Kai's bravery might change like this:
      >>

      - With a rather shy player, Kai's bravery might change like this:
      >>

      A more balanced player will help Kai grow the bravery level B to around 0.5 for different situations.

      We could also easily expand Kai's observations to base his decision on, not only how far the enemy is or has it detected Kai or not, but also what kind of weapon the enemy’s holding, how threatening it is, is there a closet nearby... The number of decisions could also be easily expanded, adding the options to hide in a nearby closet, setting up traps, etc.

      Note that this model is only for Kai's bravery, not Kai's aggressiveness, since Kai can either knock the enemy off, put it to sleep or kill it when confronted. Kai's willingness to kill is then another model, influenced by the player and different situations. These models can link with each other and by designing different models like these, we could develop really deep and realistic AIs.

      These models also have a learning rate and a momentum used to define how fast the AI learns. So we can control how fast Kai grows or is influenced. For example, killing the first person will make killing a second one easier, while sparing a life or two won’t really make one less likely to kill. A few runaways also won’t immediately turn someone into a coward.

      Programming
      Use a simple Neural Network with Stochastic Gradient Descent.
      Implemented using classic OOP classes without matrix multiplication, since importing libraries into UE could be heavy, buggy and anti cross-platform. Also, implementing my own Neural Network helps boost my understanding of it, which is still quite low.
      To do: Optimize the Neural Network code, make sure SGD works well with data gathered real time in game. Learn more Neural Network, Gradient Descent & Machine Learning techniques.
      Last edited by skyarmor; 01-25-2017, 08:22 PM.

      Comment


      • #4
        I have updated the Kai's bravery prototype post so if you're interested in AI, check the previous post in this thread!
        We're going to introduce our first 3D Artist soon too while the first chapter of the Light Novel's also doing well.
        Cheers guys!

        Comment


        • #5
          We're very happy to announce that Lucas has joined us as a 3D Artist.
          We're still searching for some more 3D artists so if you're interested, contact us at kikaiteam@gmail.com!

          Comment


          • #6
            We're very happy to announce that Josh has joined us as a composer.
            He's going to work on a special track for the game soon.
            The story behind the track and more details will be revealed once we have a demo to show

            We're also very close to finish the first chapter of the light novel and still looking ceaselessly for more 3D Artists.
            Hope everyone's doing fine as always.

            Comment


            • #7
              Looks great Skyarmor, can't wait to see what your team comes up with soon

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by TroJanVirus View Post
                Looks great Skyarmor, can't wait to see what your team comes up with soon
                Thank you so much for your kind comment
                We're going to post more stuffs soon, stay tuned!

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by skyarmor View Post
                  Thank you so much for your kind comment
                  We're going to post more stuffs soon, stay tuned!
                  Will do! Thanks

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I love that log on the top. real nice; good luck!
                    | Finite State Machine | Object-Pool Plugin | Auto-Save Plugin | Anti-Cheat Plugin |

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by TroJanVirus View Post
                      Will do! Thanks
                      Thank you!

                      Originally posted by BrUnO XaVIeR View Post
                      I love that log on the top. real nice; good luck!
                      Thank you so much, more stories coming soon!

                      Anyway, we have finished and finally published the first chapter of the light novel, you can check it out here.
                      We have also launched our Facebook and Patreon. Please share the game with your friends if you like it !
                      More news coming soon!
                      Last edited by skyarmor; 02-05-2017, 10:50 AM.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Will he ever get that tempo right?!

                        Gripping for a first chapter! I'd love to hear more

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by TroJanVirus View Post
                          Will he ever get that tempo right?!

                          Gripping for a first chapter! I'd love to hear more
                          What a horrible practice skipper! Or maybe he was just having a bad day, I need to write more to understand him better
                          We're working to finish the second chapter too, but it won't be released until we reach our goal on Patreon
                          But Enmanuel, another 3D Artist has just joined us (welcome!), more in-game updates should be up soon, stay tuned!

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by skyarmor View Post
                            What a horrible practice skipper! Or maybe he was just having a bad day, I need to write more to understand him better
                            We're working to finish the second chapter too, but it won't be released until we reach our goal on Patreon
                            But Enmanuel, another 3D Artist has just joined us (welcome!), more in-game updates should be up soon, stay tuned!
                            If you ever need help with UI stuff by any chance, I'm your guy!

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by TroJanVirus View Post
                              If you ever need help with UI stuff by any chance, I'm your guy!
                              Thank you so much for the constant support!
                              We're still focusing on the core of the game right now so there won't be UI tasks until March.
                              We will remember to contact you once we reach that stage though !

                              Comment

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